Book of Revelation
Title[change | change source]
The last book of the New Testament is usually called the Book of Revelation or simply Revelation. While some of the earliest manuscripts are entitled "The Revelation of John" (Ἀποκάλυψις Ἰωάννου), later manuscripts are usually entitled "The Revelation of the Theologian" (Ἀποκάλυψις τοῦ Θεολόγου). For this reason, the Authorized King James Version calls Revelation the Revelation of Saint John the Divine (divine was a seventeenth century word for theologian.)
Introduction[change | change source]
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Over the course of Revelation, which many regard as the most difficult book in the Bible, the author has two visions. There are many different ways to interpret these visions, and there has been substantial disagreement over which is right.
Authorship[change | change source]
The person writing Revelation, who called himself "John", claims he was on the island of Patmos in the Aegean Sea when he saw his first vision. But there is disagreement over whether he is the same person as the Bible's other two Johns: the author of the letters of John and the author of The Gospel of John.
Content[change | change source]
Revelation begins by introducing John as its author, and has letters to seven churches of that day. Some think these churches also represent periods of history. Various visions follow that are highly symbolic, allow many different interpretations, and are often thought to represent past and future events. Some believe that many of these prophecies have already been fulfilled, some believe they will be fulfilled at the end of time, and some believe they do not refer to any specific events but instead describe the victory of Christ over all enemies.
Parts of the book seem to use symbols and codes in order to hide their meaning from outsiders, including the mysterious "number of the beast," or 666. The book ends with a vision of faithful souls in the next life rejoicing around the throne of God.
Christians often discuss topics from the book of Revelation, including the Millennium, a 1000-year period when Christ will rule the earth. Revelation also describes a final war between good and evil known as the Battle of Armageddon, though the word "Armageddon" is also sometimes used to describe any large war that ends the world. Both of these events are thought to be literal by some and figurative by others. While virtually all Christians agree that there will be a Second Coming of Christ, it is the subject of conflicting accounts in Revelation and therefore much disagreement about its details.
Throughout history, Revelation has been especially important to Christians who were suffering persecution and felt parts of the book could have been referring to them.  Some verses that mention the afterlife have also traditionally been used at funerals.
Related pages[change | change source]
References[change | change source]
- Nestle-Aland. Novum Testamentum Graece. 27th ed. Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, Druck: 1996, p. 632.
- Greg, Steve. "Revelation, Four Views, Revised and updated", Thomas Nelson, 2012, ISBN 9781401676216
- Rev. 1:1, 4, 9; 22:8
- Rev 1:9; 4:1-2
- Revelation 20:1-4)
- Revelation 16:16
- Rev. 21: 1-7